Owen and Kyle watched Aiden eat. It was obvious that he hadn’t eaten in awhile. From the look of his clothes, he hadn’t had a bath in awhile either.
“Where do you live, Aiden? We can take you home after you eat.”
“Oh, it’s far away. Like Europe far.”
Kyle looked at Owen and raised an eyebrow. “Europe, huh? How did you get here?”
“On a giant airplane. The pilot let me set in the cockpit with him. I flew the plane while the pilot took a nap.”
It was difficult for Owen and Kyle not to laugh.
“You flew the plane? I bet that was exciting.”
Aiden shook his head. “Not really. Once you’ve flown a rocket ship to Pluto, flying an airplane is boring.”
“You flew to Pluto? You will have to tell us about that trip.”
“I would, but I can’t. It was top secret. The government doesn’t want me talking about it. I could get in a lot of trouble just telling you what I already did. They have spies everywhere you know.”
“We did not know that. Thank you for telling us. We will have to be careful with what we say.”
“That would be very smart. Nobody knows who the spies are. One of you two could be a spy.
“We are not spies.”
“If you were, you wouldn’t tell people.”
“Good point.” Owen could see that Kyle was close to losing the fight not to laugh. “So where do you stay when you aren’t in Europe or flying to Pluto?”
“With my grandma. She lives just around the corner.”
Owen frowned as he thought about Aiden’s grandmother not being able to properly care for him. The boy was filthy and hanging out at cafes in order to steal leftovers from peoples’ plates.
Owen ordered a few things to go then smiled at the boy. “We will walk you back to your grandmother’s house. She is probably worried about you.”
Once Aiden had finished eating and the to go order was ready, Owen paid then walked with Aiden and Kyle. What they found was not what they had expected.
Aiden had led them to a homeless camp. He went inside one of the tents. They were able to hear him. It sounded like he was trying to wake someone.
Aiden came out of the tent and looked at Owen and Kyle. “I can’t wake her up.”
Owen went inside the tent. He stepped back out a few minutes later. He looked at Kyle and shook his head.
“Can you take him to the hotel? I will wait here.’
Kyle nodded and left with Aiden. Owen waited until they were gone to call the police.
When Owen got back to the hotel, he found Aiden asleep on the sofa. He went into the suite’s bedroom and found Kyle on the phone. He waited until he hung up then sat on the bed beside him. “Is he okay?”
“He’s fine. He took a bath then fell asleep. I got him some pajamas from the gift shop downstairs.
Owen pointed to the bags he brought in with him. “I stopped and got him some things. We can throw out his old clothes.”
“What did the police say?”
“She had been dead for a few days. They didn’t seem to interested in Aiden. Apparently he had been in several foster homes and ran away from all of them. He always ended up back on the street with his grandmother.”
“Where are his parents?”
“His mother was a prostitute. She died of a drug overdose a few years ago. The police don’t know who his father is. They said it is probably one of the men she picked up on the street.”
Kyle felt bad for the kid. “What is going to happen to him?”
“Andy did ask if we were going to bring home a brother or sister for him.”
“We can’t just take him home. That’s not legal.”
“I know. I already talked to the lawyer. He is going to file emergency custody paperwork with the court. That will give us temporary custody until we can file the paperwork for permanent custody. He is just waiting for me to call him back. I told him that I needed to talk to you first.”
“Call him and tell him to do it. I can’t let that boy go back out onto the street.”